Maggie Beer’s baked red onions {vegetarian}12

Posted on May 3, 2012 by ChristieDinner Time, Sides, Vegetarian

Onions. My kitchen would be incomplete without them, forming the basis of almost every dish I cook. However, I rarely make them the star of the show.

Enter Maggie Beer. Needing no introduction, she is an awesome gardener and celebrity home cook, and this month in Gardening Australia magazine she tells us all about how to grow and cook with onions.

When I was sent a copy of the magazine, I immediately flicked to page 58 to check out her article and recipes. As you do! (Sorry to all the wonderful gardening articles, I’m just all about the food!). I’m not sure I’m up to growing onions yet, you all know I’m a notorious plant killer, but I can certainly handle a bit of cooking.

This recipe could not be simpler. Make some garlic/thyme croutons. Bake the onions in their skins until soft. Top with croutons and mozzarella cheese and bake again until melted. Easy peasy!

Maggie suggests serving them with a rocket salad to the side, but I didn’t think that would go down so well as a satisfying meal for hubby. I accompanied them with some chicken sausages and a chunky mash of carrots, potatoes and chickpeas.

Learn all about growing onions and see a much nicer picture of this finished dish in the latest issue of ABC Gardening Australia (May 2012 edition) – grab yourself a copy and check it out!

Do you use onions as a basis for your cooking?

Christie x

Fig & Cherry was sent a complimentary copy of the May edition of Gardening Australia thanks to Jess at Morey Media.

Whole roasted red onions with buffalo mozzarella and ‘pulled’ bread

serves 4

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 4-6 slices stale bread such as sourdough or ciabatta, crusts removed and torn into long pieces
  • 8 large red onions, unpeeled
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vino cotto (grape must, see here)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 320g buffalo mozzarella, divided into 8 pieces
  • rocket leaves, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 220C. Pour olive oil into a small container, then add garlic and process with a stab mixer (stick blender) or pound with a mortar and pestle until a paste forms.

2. Place bread in a baking tray then pour over oil mixture and rub it into bread. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp and golden, then set aside.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 200C. Rub whole onions with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a small baking dish that is just big enough to hold them snugly in 1 layer. Drizzle vino cotto evenly over onions and sprinkle with half of the thyme. Roast onions for 60-90 minutes or until tender.

4. Peel back the skin a little from the tops. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a criss cross in the onion tops, pulling the sides away to create a ‘crater’. top each onion with some of the pulled bread, 2 pieces of mozzarella and remaining thyme. Return to the oven for 3-4  minutes or until mozzarella has melted.

5. Serve onions immediately with a rocket salad to the side.

  • Hi Christie – love your work… but not happy about the new blog formatting. I use a reader on iPad to follow lots of blogs, and when we don’t get a ‘full feed’ (as you used to offer) I very rarely bother to click through to see the full post. The formatting before was fine – I saw all the contents and photos when I opened the post.

    Hope you will reconsider and return to the much more readable formatting…


    • Hi Ken, Thank you for your feedback! I am testing out the summary feed in my RSS for a few weeks to see how it goes. If there are enough negative comments then I will change it back. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know – thank you. Christie

  • Love onions and love Maggie Beer! When my little onion seedlings grow big enough I’ll give these a try.

  • I can make friends with every onion I meet and these are no exception. I love anything Maggie Beer puts together. She’s got such a no-nonsense, no stress way of cooking. I look forward to trying this one.

  • Eha

    Sorry to be a copycat, but I too love onions and Maggie Beer [she has a fab email newssheet to which I have subscribed for donks!] and shall try this soonest – with the rocket salad on the side :) !

  • David Coldrick

    I agree with Ken: much better to provide the full feed. I too use my iPad for all RSS following.


  • Oh, I love baked onions and I love Maggie Beer, too. In fact, I got to meet and cook alongside Maggie this week at Tasting Australia. It was by far the scariest thing I’ve ever done!

  • I really like onions but I don’t think i’ve had many ‘baked’ ones hehe but looks yummy though :) Thanks for sharing!

  • You can never really go wrong with a Maggie Beer recipe. Looks delicious Christie :D

  • I love onions but have never thought about roasting them whole. Maggie Beer is a genius! Love the recipe Christie.

  • Ang

    Mouth watering … I wonder how it would be with a soft french cheese instead of the mozzarella??

  • Joan McCallum

    do not eat bread so used left over quinoa mixed with the garlic mix instead…delicious.

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